CINCINNATI, Ohio — A federal judge has temporarily blocked the attorney general of Ohio from taking legal action against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood in order to stop the organization from having the bodies of aborted babies picked up by medical waste companies to be steam-treated or incinerated, and then dumped in landfills.
As previously reported, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who identifies as pro-life and believes that abortion is “morally reprehensible,” announced the finding about Planned Parenthood’s practice on Friday.
“First steam-cooking fetuses and then disposing of them in a landfill is not humane,” he said. “It will come as a shock to Ohioans to find out that fetuses are being cooked and then they’re being put in a landfill, and they’re going to be mixed in with the garbage and whatever else goes into a landfill.”
DeWine’s office had been investigating whether Planned Parenthood facilities in the state were selling the body parts of aborted babies following the release of national undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress.
While determining that aborted babies in Ohio weren’t being sold to research, DeWine’s Charitable Law Section rather found that the children were being picked up by medical waste companies and either steam treated or incinerated and then dumped into a landfill with household and commercial trash.
He said that the practice is illegal as it violates Chapter 3701-47-05 of the Ohio abortion law, which states that a “fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner.”
Accu Medical Waste Service, Inc. in Marietta had been serving the Cincinnati and Columbus Planned Parenthood locations, and had transported the containers of aborted babies to its steam plant where they were autoclaved and then trucked to a landfill in Kentucky. The company severed its ties with the abortion industry last week due to “adverse attention” over the matter.
The medical waste giant Stericycle, which serves the Bedford Heights Planned Parenthood, had been picking up aborted babies from the location and either having them steamed or incinerated, depending on how Planned Parenthood had marked the boxes. The fetal remains were then trucked to Republic Services Carbon Limestone Landfill in Lowellville after being treated.
Corporate representatives of Stericycle had claimed to DeWine’s office during the investigation that the company does not accept fetal remains for disposal. The medical waste giant is facing possible fines in South Carolina for likewise disposing of aborted babies in a landfill. Stericycle was fined $42,000 in Texas in 2011 for doing so.
As DeWine said that he planned to file for an injunction in court to require that Planned Parenthood cease disposing of aborted babies in autoclaves, incineration plants and landfills, Planned Parenthood subsequently filed for a restraining order against any legal action on Sunday. It said that it believes its disposal arrangements are humane.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus granted a 28-day temporary injunction, stating that the wording of the law might be too vague and that Planned Parenthood could face “irreparable harm” if a lawsuit was filed by the state. A hearing is set over the matter on Jan. 4.
“We will continue to fight back against these political attacks every step of the way and our doors will remain open to all Ohioans, no matter what,” Jerry Lawson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, said in a statement.
DeWine said that the injunction is simply procedural and is not indicative of the merits of the law.
“They did not address the central issue of whether the disposal practices of Planned Parenthood were humane,” he said in a statement.
In the meantime, Ohio lawmakers are considering crafting legislation that would require aborted babies to be either cremated or buried just like every deceased person.